Shlissel Challah – a Key to Wisdom

This Challah, fashioned in the shape of a treble clef, or “G” clef, was originally made a couple of years ago to honor a musician friend who spent with us the first Shabbos after Pesach. This year we are blessed – and immensely excited! – to have the two youngest grandchildren the entire weekend, Shabbos…

Dracula and Klyotzki Dumplings

It looks like my Monster cookies were not scary enough for you, Beautiful People. Let me introduce you to some truly terrible real monsters who have become legendary. Count Dracula really existed. He was born in Transylvania in fifteenth century and ruled the province called Wallachia. His name was Vlad III, and his last name…

MONSTER ChoCo Squares

We don’t do Halloween, but we have our own monsters. One of them is world famous. You see his heavy footprints throughout the world literature and arts, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to The X- Files.  You hear his eerie voice in Karel Capek’s R.U.R., where the word “robot” comes from, in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, recognizable as Gollum, and in Isaac Bashevis Singer’s The…

Classics Also Quarrel: Russian Pot Pie

The rich also cry, as we all know. It is less known, however, that the classics also quarrel. We tend to perceive them as larger than life, rather not susceptible to flaws and frailties  of us, ordinary humans.  Take, for example, Leo Tolstoy, “the greatest apostle of non-violence that the present age has produced” (Mahatma…

Shlissel Challah – a Key to Wisdom

Controversy is raging around this tradition, dating back to Middle Ages. Since we have laboriously and thoroughly divested our homes of all leavened bread in order to celebrate Passover, as we are commanded, Jewish women are faced with a task of baking the first challahs of the year. So we get creative and insert a…

MONSTER ChoCo Squares

We don’t do Halloween, but we have our own monsters. One of them is world famous. You see his heavy footprints throughout the world literature and arts, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to The X- Files.  You hear his eerie voice in Karel Capek’s R.U.R.,where the word “robot” comes from, in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, recognizable as Gollum, and in Isaac Bashevis Singer’s The…

Say CHEESE for Shavuos!

Contrary to all other Jewish holidays, when we prepare festive meals that include both fish and meat, signifying rejoicing in His benevolence that grants us abundance, traditional Shavuos table is laden with dairy dishes, from blintzes to cheesecakes, and anything milky delicious you can think of.  One of the reasons for this unique menu is…

As Easy As Pie

“There’s something about pie, any kind of pie— gorgeous lattice top pies or rustic galettes, deep dish or pot pies, sweet or savory, fruit or vegetable, cheesy or meaty, hand pies from every corner of the earth… there’s something about taking pastry dough and wrapping it around, partially or completely, some kind of filling that…

Exactly Like That But Without the Wings

In an old Russian movie, a man is shopping for a birthday present. He can’t find anything suitable – no wonder, under the communist regime, there was nothing suitable in the stores, since all the good stuff was sold out of the back door for several times the official price. Exhausted and frustrated, he wanders…

Prince Igor Says,”Not for Any Kovrizhki!”

You are a prince. Not just any old prince among a bunch of other princes, but The Grand Prince of Kiev Rus, the very first one holding this title. Don’t worry, ladies, there is a princess in this story, too, Princess Olga, a formidable ruler and warrior in her own right. But let’s return to the…